The absence of WMD in Iraq is still a big issue to many, but I was more concerned with the “Mission Accomplished” sign draped on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln when President George W. Bush landed and told everyone in attendance that “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” President Bush has been criticized repeatedly for the sign he but has said on numerous occasions that he had nothing to do with it.
Another piece of trivia about that day was that the aircraft carrier was made to turn completely around so the repositioning would provide a perfect view of the setting sun – making the photo op more dramatic for the media. The extra maneuver, unfortunately, caused the sailors another day’s delay in getting home to their families.
The “Shock and Awe” phase of the Iraq war lasted for several days and during that period and the accompanying invasion phase, it is estimated that approximately 6,616 civilians were killed.
So, if we are trying to punish Assad for the death of 1,429 women and children, we could end up killing four to five times that many Syrians with our rocket and bomb attacks. But, who is counting?
Forty-four days elapsed from “Shock and Awe” to when President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln – unfortunately, the war continued on until the United States finally removed the remaining troops in December 2011.
The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies here – the videos and photos were sure dramatic of Bush landing in a fighter jet but I am more moved by the number of military deaths in Iraq AFTER the “Mission Accomplished” sign was raised on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Ninety seven percent of the military deaths in Iraq occurred AFTER the Mission Accomplished sign was hoisted high on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Let’s move forward in time to the pending attack on Syria.
If President Obama is planning to bomb Syria for a few days and Congress is going to give him initially 60 days to get that done, plus an extension of 30 days – just how long could all this take – 2 years, 5 years, or even 10 years? Keep in mind that all of this is being promised with no boots on the ground.
Another thing being promised is that this will not be considered a war. President Obama and Secretary Kerry are saying that this will be an “action.” What is an action?
To me, action, is something like what the courts just did in New York to stop the current “Stop and Frisk” policy because it was discriminatory. The court action was done without missiles and aircraft dropping bombs, so I ask again: What is “action?”
There are some very bad actors in Syria and surrounding countries. Allies of Syria are quite experienced and willing to die for the cause. It is rumored that 25 percent of the rebels are Al Qaeda and that could amount to 20 or 25,000 seasoned mercenaries/rebels/terrorists depending on one’s vantage point. These highly skilled and trained Al Qaeda warriors could easily make Obama regret attacking Syria in the first place. In addition, Hamas and Hezbollah could be emboldened into joining in the fighting and the result could be death to many U. S. ground troops that are in Jordan and Iraq and Turkey – to say nothing about the covert CIA and JTF forces who are already in Syria.
President Obama might be gambling that Assad will simply roll over – exposing his bare bottom to be spanked with dozens of missiles and bombs but what if he doesn’t? Surely, he does not have the military resources to defeat the mighty U. S. but he could attempt to shoot down as many jets as possible and he could attack the Patriot missile batteries in Jordan and the other 1,000 plus ground troops that are there. Syria has a large military and coupled with over 100,000 rebels representing different factions, both good and back, could result in a powder keg which could eventually require “boots on the ground”, which could ten result in many, many body bags returning to Dover AFB, Delaware.
I have first hand knowledge dealing with processing human remains at Dover. During the Vietnam war I was a member of the team responsible for making arrangements to return tens of thousands of deceased military to their designated place for burial.
The photos of the dead and injured caused by the chemical weapons are ghastly for sure, but also try to picture the unloading of dozens and dozens of flag draped coffins from USAF Cargo aircraft on the flightline of Dover AFB, Delaware – especially when we have been promised “no boots on the ground” and told “this is not war in the classic sense – the president is asking for the authority to do a limited action that will degrade the capacity of a tyrant who has been using chemical weapons to kill his own people. It’s a limited action. It’s limited.”
Please keep in mind that in the first days of the Iraq War, there were NO BOOTS ON THE GROUND – it was all “Shock and Awe” – bombs, missiles, rickets, killing thousands of Iraqi’s – it was after that it became our turn to die.
The President and Secretary Kerry are not promising us more images of “Shock and Awe” this time because if they do we will vehemently oppose the WAR – yes WAR.
But, you can bet your bottom dollar that when the aerial assault starts, it will be shown on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS. Even Al Jazeera will probably cover it, as well as the BBC. It might even be on MOSAIC, a collage of news from 8 – 9 Middle East countries.
It will be during this “Shock and Awe” coverage that we will see that we have been duped. No one is currently telling us that we will kill people by the thousands – but when we see all those missiles and bombs falling, we will know that it translates to thousands of military deaths and that can be expected and justified but it will also include civilian deaths, aka collateral damage.
Some of the women and children injured during the chemical attacks will not escape our bombing this time and it will be our fault – not Assad’s fault and not the fault of rebels, whether they be good rebels or bad rebels.
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